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Who Has Cheap Auto Insurance for Drivers Requiring a SR22 in California?

Our staff writers always rib each other than when writing about car insurance, the word “cheap” should never be used anywhere in the article to describe car insurance prices. It’s a simple fact that cheap auto insurance for drivers requiring a SR22 is not always easy to find. Don’t let that get you down, though, because we are going to show you some ways you can get car insurance that most people can afford.

When shopping for the cheapest car insurance for high risk drivers, one of the many considerations that is looked at to determine the annual cost of car insurance is where you keep your vehicle in California. Cities with larger populations like Glendale, Oakland, and Sacramento tend to pay more, whereas areas with less traffic congestion and claims have the enjoyment of a little cheaper coverage.

The illustration below lists the higher priced cities in California for drivers requiring a SR22 in which to purchase auto insurance.

Car insurance prices in California
RankCityAnnual Premium
1Glendale$2,142
2Los Angeles$2,083
3Oakland$1,738
4San Francisco$1,711
5Sacramento$1,669
6Long Beach$1,626
7San Bernardino$1,596
8Santa Clarita$1,595
9Fontana$1,566
10Garden Grove$1,554
11Stockton$1,541
12Moreno Valley$1,536
13Modesto$1,532
14Santa Ana$1,497
15Riverside$1,497
16Fresno$1,457
17Anaheim$1,430
18Huntington Beach$1,416
19Fremont$1,403
20San Jose$1,395
21Irvine$1,371
22Bakersfield$1,353
23San Diego$1,327
24Oxnard$1,318
25Chula Vista$1,298
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Premium costs are comparative as vehicle location can lower or raise coverage prices greatly.

Cost and performance of the vehicle you are buying coverage for is one of the largest factors that determines if you can find cheap auto insurance for drivers requiring a SR22 in California. Vehicles with lower performance, good safety features, or a track record of few liability claims will cost much less to insure than adrenaline junky models. The next lists estimates coverage costs for a selection of the most economical automobiles to buy coverage for.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular Cars in California
Make, Model, and Trim LevelAnnual CostSemi-Annual CostMonthly Cost
Ford Focus SEL 4-Dr Sedan$4,298$2,149$358
Honda Accord EX-L 4-Dr Sedan$3,732$1,866$311
Honda Civic SI 2-Dr Coupe$5,452$2,726$454
Hyundai Elantra GLS Touring Station Wagon$3,508$1,754$292
Hyundai Sonata SE 4-Dr Sedan$4,702$2,351$392
Kia Optima EX$4,742$2,371$395
Toyota Camry LE$4,152$2,076$346
Toyota Corolla S$4,336$2,168$361
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Prices above based on married female driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-vehicle, and multi-policy. Rate quotes do not factor in specific location information which can modify prices substantially.

Car Insurance Rates for Popular SUVs and Crossovers in California
Make, Model, and Trim LevelAnnual CostSemi-Annual CostMonthly Cost
Acura RDX Technology Package AWD$3,956$1,978$330
Chevrolet Traverse LTZ AWD$3,772$1,886$314
Ford Escape XLT 4WD$3,546$1,773$296
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer AWD$4,192$2,096$349
GMC Acadia SLE 2WD$3,966$1,983$331
Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD$3,546$1,773$296
Honda Fit Sport VSA$3,384$1,692$282
Honda Pilot EX-L 2WD$4,192$2,096$349
Hyundai Tucson Limited 4WD$4,152$2,076$346
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD$4,376$2,188$365
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4WD 4-Dr$4,484$2,242$374
Subaru Forester X Premium AWD$3,772$1,886$314
Toyota Highlander Sport 2WD$4,192$2,096$349
Toyota RAV4 2WD$4,152$2,076$346
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Data variables include married female driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-policy, and multi-vehicle. Prices do not factor in zip code location which can change prices noticeably.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular Pickup Trucks in California
Make, Model, and Trim LevelAnnual CostSemi-Annual CostMonthly Cost
Chevrolet Silverado LS Extended Cab 2WD$4,518$2,259$377
Dodge Ram Quad Cab Laramie 2WD$4,782$2,391$399
Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab 4WD$4,192$2,096$349
Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab Turbo Diesel 2WD$5,154$2,577$430
GMC Canyon SLT Ext Cab 4WD$4,192$2,096$349
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT Extended Cab 2WD$4,928$2,464$411
GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE Regular Cab 2WD$4,416$2,208$368
GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab 4WD$4,376$2,188$365
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off-Road Package 4WD$4,192$2,096$349
Toyota Tundra Limited Crew MAX 4WD$4,782$2,391$399
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Price data assumes married female driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, homeowner, and multi-policy. Price information does not factor in garaging location in California which can modify premium rates greatly.

Trying to buy cost effective insurance is difficult, and determining which companies offer the best auto insurance rates for drivers requiring a SR22 may require additional perseverance. Insurance premiums will most likely be quite a bit higher than the average rate in California, with the higher price attributed to the extra risk that comes with selling coverage for high risk drivers, but competitively-priced coverage may be achievable if you carefully shop around. Each insurer has their own guidelines for determining rates, so let’s take a look at the auto insurance companies with the most affordable rates in California.

It’s a good idea to know that California auto insurance rates are influenced by many factors that can increase the price you pay for coverage. Simply having another birthday, buying a different vehicle, or getting a DUI can trigger rate changes that may make certain companies way too expensive in comparison to the competition.

Cheap Insurance Rates for SR22 Drivers

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Rankings for the cheapest California auto insurance companies
RankCompanyCost Per Year
1USAA$1,143
2Wawanesa$1,157
3Century National$1,178
4Nationwide$1,213
5CSAA$1,222
621st Century$1,366
7Grange$1,433
8Allstate$1,513
9Mercury$1,548
10Progressive$1,558
11GEICO$1,559
12The Hartford$1,591
13Allied$1,603
14MetLife$1,606
15Unitrin$1,699
16Esurance$1,739
17State Farm$1,750
18Bristol West$1,795
19Travelers$1,860
20Farmers$1,966
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USAA has some of the lowest car insurance rates in California at around $1,143 each year. Wawanesa, Century National, Nationwide, and CSAA also are some of the best California car insurance companies.

As shown above, if you are a policyholder with CSAA and switched to Wawanesa, you could realize an annual savings of roughly $65. Customers with 21st Century might save as much as $209 a year, and Grange policyholders might cut rates by $276 a year.

Remember that these rates are averaged across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and do not factor in a rate surcharge for drivers requiring a SR22. So the auto insurance company that fits your age and vehicle best may not even be included in the list of companies above. That affirms the importance of why you need to quote rates from as many companies as possible using your own specific driver information and vehicle.

Choosing a high-quality insurer is hard considering how many choices drivers have in California. The ranking data in the next section may help you pick which auto insurers to look at buying from.

The ratings below are only comprised of large insurance companies, so smaller regional companies will not be included in this list. To compare price quotes from these top-rated insurers and more, follow this link.

California Auto Insurance Company Rankings
CompanyValueCustomer ServiceClaimsCustomer SatisfactionA.M Best RatingOverall Score
USAA9810010094%A++98.6
American Family988910086%A95.4
AAA of Southern California91949792%A+94.1
State Farm88939690%A++92.4
The Hartford94929089%A+91.7
AAA Insurance88899591%A91.2
GEICO84939389%A++90.3
The General89918988%A-90
Titan Insurance90879195%A+89.6
Progressive84919387%A+89.5
Mercury Insurance88919085%A+89.4
Allstate85909288%A+89.3
Nationwide87888490%A+88.7
Liberty Mutual84879388%A88.5
21st Century85868788%A86.7
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Data Source: Insure.com Best Car Insurance Companies

Violations and accidents raise rates

The easiest way to snag the most affordable auto insurance prices for high risk drivers is to be an attentive driver and avoid at-fault accidents and violations. The example below illustrates how speeding tickets and at-fault fender-benders can increase yearly insurance costs for different ages of insureds. The rate quotes are based on a single female driver, full physical damage coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

In the previous chart, the average cost of a car insurance policy in California per year with no accidents and a clean driving record is $2,161. Get written up for one speeding ticket and the average cost rises to $2,450, an increase of $289 each year. Then include one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of auto insurance for drivers requiring a SR22 goes up to an average of $3,257. That’s an increase of $1,096, or $91 per month, just for not keeping your driving record clean!

Who has the cheapest insurance quotes for high risk drivers?

Drivers have a lot of ways to compare auto insurance quotes in California, but the most frequently used methods are using an exclusive agency such as State Farm or Auto-Owners, a non-exclusive or independent agent, or direct online or over the phone from a company like Geico or Progressive. They all follow the same basic process, but it’s important to understand the differences in how they work.

Independent agents have contracts with multiple insurance companies and can get rate quotes from every one. Independent agents are able to compare multiple rates, which may give you the best shot at cutting your rates. If your premiums go up, they simply move your policy to a different company and you can keep the same agent.

Exclusive agents are ‘exlusive’ to one company, two examples being Allstate and Liberty Mutual agents. Exclusive agencies are unable to compare rates from other companies, so if their prices are high, they cannot shop around.

The third popular method of shopping for auto insurance is direct, which means you do not use an agent and instead shop buying direct from a company like Progressive or Geico. Buying direct is a good choice for families who do not have complex finances and know more than average about what coverage limits and deductibles they need.

So which way is best to find cheap auto insurance for drivers requiring a SR22 in California? We’d like to say buying from a direct company saves money because you bypass the agent, but in reality, that is not true. We could also say that going through an independent agent guarantees the cheapest rates due to having more companies to select from, but that is not necessarily true either. And often times, the exclusive agents have really good rates that independents and direct companies can’t touch.

Due to that fact that auto insurance uses so many rating variables, the best method to buy the cheapest policy is to obtain price quotes and compare them. Be sure to get price quotes from all three to have the best rate selection. For a list of companies with some of the cheapest California auto insurance rates, click here to view.

How to find budget-friendly insurance for drivers requiring a SR22

The list below details some penny-pinching solutions that can help California drivers buy cheaper car insurance.

  • Higher deductibles mean lower rates
  • Save money by observing traffic laws and speed limits
  • Drive attentively and avoid accidents
  • Drivers with good credit often pay less
  • Get cheaper liability coverage by choosing a safer vehicle
  • Compare rates often to find the best deal

That last idea is highly critical, as was affirmed in this write-up. Prices charged by companies can change significantly in a year, so you should be ready to buy from a different company if you can find a cheaper rate.

Having a favorite company is great, but it’s not a great idea if it’s costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Now is a great time to compare rates and find cheaper auto insurance for drivers requiring a SR22.

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